Nine great apes at the San Diego Zoo have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The vaccine, developed by the veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis for use in animals, was given to four orangutans and five bonobos at the zoo. They are the first apes to receive the vaccine, according to National Geographic.
Eight gorillas at the zoo were the first in the world to test positive for the virus back in January. They have since recovered. Infections have also been confirmed in many animals, including dogs, cats, lions, and tigers.
Zoetis began developing the vaccine last year after a dog tested positive in Hong Kong. Although the vaccine was developed for dogs and cats, it is common for animal vaccines to be used across species.
Nadine Lamberski, chief conservation and wildlife health officer at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, told National Geographic that the apes have not suffered any side effects from the vaccine, and they will soon be tested to see if the vaccines were a success.
Other zoos in the United States have contacted Zoetis about receiving doses for their great apes. The company says more doses should be available in June.